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Aeicha @ Word Spelunking

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Undertow Blog Tour {review and giveaway}

I'm thrilled to have the Undertow Blog Tour stopping by today...

(Undertow #1)
by Michael Buckley
HMH Books for Young Readers
384 pages
Sixteen-year-old Lyric Walker’s life is forever changed when she witnesses the arrival of 30,000 Alpha, a five-nation race of ocean-dwelling warriors, on her beach in Coney Island. The world’s initial wonder and awe over the Alpha quickly turns ugly and paranoid and violent, and Lyric’s small town transforms into a military zone with humans on one side and Alpha on the other. When Lyric is recruited to help the crown prince, a boy named Fathom, assimilate, she begins to fall for him. But their love is a dangerous one, and there are forces on both sides working to keep them apart. Only, what if the Alpha are not actually the enemy? What if they are in fact humanity’s only hope of survival? Because the real enemy is coming. And it’s more terrifying than anything the world has ever seen.

Action, suspense, and romance whirlpool dangerously in this cinematic saga, a blend of District 9 and The Outsiders.

Praise for Undertow

"Readers will find themselves immersed in this semi-edgy, race-against-the-clock world that's waiting to implode."—Kirkus

"Buckley packs this propulsive novel with one walloping scene after another, and there's enough action, romance, and high-stakes drama to keep a wide array of readers interested."—Booklist
"Buckley draws clear parallels between the vicious anti-Alpha attitudes and existing racial and ethnic prejudices...A fascinating, engaging, and tense tale, and a strong start to the series."—Publishers Weekly

“A gritty, turbulent novel as sweeping and deep as the ocean itself. UNDERTOW will pull you in and hold you down.”—Rebecca Serle, author of When You Were Mine, and The Edge of Falling 

“Lyric is a girl’s girl—as savvy as she is soulful, as sharp as she is tender. Lyric’s fierce, distinctive voice is the core magnetic force of UNDERTOW, and why we will all be stampeding for more.—Adele Griffin, author of All You Never Wanted and The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone

Until the Alpha came, all teenage Lyric Walker had to worry about were her migraines, keeping up with her BFF, Bex, and whether or not super hot Gabriel would stick around. But then 30,000 Alphas came out of the ocean and divided Lyric’s city into a war zone. The five-nation Alphas live in a massive tent-city on the beach, but many of the humans in Lyric’s world want them gone or worse. When several Alpha young are chosen to attend the local high school, Lyric is assigned to the Alpha Prince, Fathom. Reluctantly, Lyric and Fathom spend time together slowly building a friendship that quickly turns into more. But Lyric’s family is hiding a big secret and it turns out there may be something even more dangerous than the Alphas in the ocean.

Michael Buckley’s Undertow is a complex, multi-faceted, smartly written YA novel that is as enthralling as it is thought-provoking. On the surface Undertow seems to have an over-used and predictable premise- a hostile nonhuman species comes to Earth, spurring an epic love story between a human and nonhuman- and, while this may be a small part of Undertow’s premise, Buckley offers readers so much more. Yes, the smoldering tension between the humans and Alphas is intensely thrilling and the star-crossed love story between Lyric and Fathom is entertaining, but it’s the provocative, insightful exploration of human nature that kept me truly captivated and impressed. There are a lot of hot topics interwoven in Undertow- racism, poverty, abuse, drug use, sexuality, government control, etc- and Buckley does an exceptional job of exploring these topics realistically and in ways that never feels preachy or judgemental. There’s much in Undertow that will stimulate great discussion and leave readers very thoughtful.

Of course, the less serious side of Undertow (romance, action, humor, etc) kept me amused from beginning to end. Buckley fills Undertow with an eclectic cast of characters. I love that our heroine, Lyric, feels like a real, flawed teenager, and I enjoyed getting to know her. With his aloofness and hard exterior, Fathom is a bit harder to warm up to, but I appreciated his character growth throughout the book. While their romance moves a bit too fast for my liking, I genuinely liked Lyric and Fathom as a pair and I’m eager to see where their relationship goes in future books. I think my favorite character in Undertow is Lyric’s BFF, Bex, who has some of the best funny, snarky lines.

Undertow concludes with a helluva splash and definitely has me wanting more!

my final thoughts: Michael Buckley offers readers engaging characters, an exciting premise, and plenty of thought-provoking material. Undertow is a smart, refreshing, and wildly entertaining addition to the world of YA!

4/5 yummy cupcakes

New York Times bestselling author Michael Buckley was born in Akron, Ohio. He tried his hand as a stand-up comic and lead singer for a punk rock back before attending Ohio University. After graduating with honors he moved to New York City to be an intern on the Late Show with David Letterman which led to stints developing programming for Discovery Networks, MTV, MTV Animation and Klasky Csupo (producers of Nickelodeon’s Rugrats). Today he lives in Brooklyn, New York with his wife, Alison, and their son Finn. 
5 winners will receive a prize pack that contains an Undertow beach towel, beach bag, bookmark, a finished book.
US Only
(this is a blog tour wide giveaway and not run by Word Spelunking)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Week One:
4/27/2015- Melissa's Eclectic BookshelfInterview
4/28/2015Mom With A KindleInterview
4/29/2015Moonlight Gleam ReviewsBook Trailer Post
4/30/2015Word SpelunkingReview
5/1/2015Bewitched BookwormsBook Excerpt

Week Two:
5/4/2015For the Love of WordsReview
5/5/2015Novel Novice - Guest Post
5/6/2015The O.W.L.Review
5/7/2015- Library of a Book Witch- Review
5/8/2015Literary Meanderings  - Sneak Peek of Book 2 Post


Manju Howard said...

Michael, Thank you for sharing your novel, Undertow. My teenager would be hooked by your pitch. Good luck with your Book Tour!

Kristen said...

Really looking forward to reading this!! :D

-Kristen @ The Cozy Reading Corner

Unknown said...

Undertow sounds like a fantastic read -- I'm looking forward to checking it out!!

anne s. said...

I think our seventh grader would enjoy this book!